USAID program taps RF/Binder

NEW YORK: RF/Binder in March officially began handling the communications work for an approximately $120-million, five-year USAID program to improve the management of healthcare facilities in developing countries. The value of the communications work itself, which runs at least through 2008, was not disclosed.

NEW YORK: RF/Binder in March officially began handling the communications work for an approximately $120-million, five-year USAID program to improve the management of healthcare facilities in developing countries. The value of the communications work itself, which runs at least through 2008, was not disclosed.

RF/Binder is part of a team led by the nonprofit Management Sciences for Health (MSH) that is overseeing the USAID-funded project, called the Leadership Management and Sustainability (LMS) Program.  The agency will develop documentaries, research, and other materials, as well as an annual award, to promote not MSH or LMS specifically but the importance generally of modern healthcare management.

"Management and leadership practices that today are taken for granted in the US are still being learned in much of the developing world," said Gerald Kimber White, managing director at RF/Binder. "There are stories of things like a pallet full of vaccines sitting on a dock in the African sun all day and being destroyed just because there's not a simple supply-chain management system in place."

The outreach will focus on three main groups: major international donors like the World Bank and World Health Organization; providers of vaccines, doctors, and other "technical assistance" to healthcare facilities; and ministries of health and local or regional healthcare providers in developing countries like Egypt and Uganda. White said RF/Binder will also seek to influence "think tanks" that produce research on healthcare policy.

Joseph Dywer, director of the LMS project, said his organization is experienced in communicating to "technical" audiences, including other non-profit organizations, the importance of healthcare management, but that RF/Binder will help improve communications with more general audiences.

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